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Kathua rape-n-murder case: Complainant records statement in court

Press Trust of India

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Pathankot, July 4: The complainant in the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua in January this year was produced before the the district and sessions judge here for recording his statement, officials said on Wednesday.
The complainant, who had adopted the victim, recorded his statement before the judge, they said, adding his statement would be recorded again tomorrow.
He reached the court under police protection and after the completion of day-long hearing, he was escorted back, they added.
He is the fourth witness produced by the crime branch before the court, which is hearing the case on the directions of the Supreme Court.
The complainant belongs to a nomadic minority community which shift its base during the summer months from Jammu to higher reaches of Kashmir Valley.
The court had last month framed charges of rape and murder against seven of the eight accused, paving way for the beginning of trial against them.
The accused against whom charges were framed were Sanji Ram, his son Vishal, special police officers Deepak Khajuria alias Deepu and Surinder Verma, Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu, head constable Tilak Raj, and sub-inspector Arvind Datta.
Sanji Ram, who is alleged to have hatched the conspiracy with other accused for kidnapping the girl as a carefully planned strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the area, is considered to be the main accused, the crime branch charge sheet has alleged.
The fate of the eighth accused, who claims to be a juvenile and is a nephew of Sanji Ram, is yet to be decided after the crime branch of the Jammu and Kashmir Police contested his claim that he was a minor.
The district and sessions court has framed charges under various sections of the Ranbir Penal Code including 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder) and 376-D (gang rape), special public prosecutor J K Chopra said earlier.
The court had also framed charges for destruction of evidence and under section 328 (causing hurt by poisoning with an intent to hurt) of the RPC.
The two policemen — Tilak Raj and Arvind Datta — were also charged under Section 161 (public servant taking illegal gratification) of the RPC, Chopra had said.
The crime branch had filed a charge sheet on April 9 in Kathua in the case of kidnap, rape and murder of the eight-year-old girl on January 10 this year.
She was killed on January 14 and her body was recovered on January 17, triggering a massive political unrest in the state.
According to the charge sheet, the victim was held in captivity at a small village temple in Kathua district where she was kept sedated and sexually assaulted before she was bludgeoned to death.
The trial in the case began on May 31 with the seven accused being produced before the district and sessions judge after the Supreme Court transferred the case from Jammu and Kashmir to Pathankot in Punjab for a fair trial following a plea by the victim’s family.
While transferring the case from Kathua to Pathankot, about 30 km away, the apex court directed day-to-day in-camera trial in the case.


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Tribunal serves notice to Jamaat-e-Islami

Press Trust of India

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Srinagar, Apr 19: The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal, constituted by the Centre, has issued a show cause notice to Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu Kashmir (JeI), which was banned by the government in February, asking it why the organisation cannot be declared as an unlawful association.

“A notice is hereby given under sub-section (2) of Section 4 of the Act (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) and you are hereby called upon to show cause, within 30 days from the date of service of this notice, as to why your Association, declared as unlawful, be not adjudicated to be so and why an order confirming such declaration be not made under Section 4(3) of the Act,” said the notice issued by Registrar, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal, Lorren Bamniyal, to the JeI.

 

The notice was issued on April 5.

The Tribunal asked the Jamaat to file objections or reply affidavits, if any, before the next date of hearing of the Tribunal at the office of the Registrar.

“In case the objections/reply and the documents are in regional language, true English translation thereof be also attached. You may appear through a duly authorised person before the Tribunal on 20 May, 2019 at 3 PM in Court Room number 26 for further proceedings,” the notice said.

The Centre had constituted the tribunal headed by a Delhi High Court judge to decide whether there is sufficient cause for declaring the JeI as an unlawful association.

The Ministry of Home Affairs on March 23 had issued a notification which states that Justice Mukta Gupta would head the tribunal set up under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

The government in its February 28 notification had banned the JeI, saying it was of the opinion that the Jamaat is “in close touch with militant outfits” and is supporting “extremism and militancy” in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere.

It said the outfit claims “secession of a part of the Indian territory from the Union” and supporting terrorist and separatist groups fighting for this purpose.

The action came following the February 14 attack in Pulwama that killed over 40 CRPF personnel.

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Two militants killed in Rafiabad gunfight:Reports

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Srinagar, Apr 19: Multiple gunshots were heard in Malpora Watergam area of Rafiabad in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Friday evening.

Sources said that at around 8:55 pm, unknown persons fired a volley of bullets in paddy fields in Malpora Watergam village of Rafiabad.

Sources said that a joint team of Army’s 32RR and Jammu and Kashmir Police’s SOG cordoned off the area in Malpora Watergam after credible inputs about presence of militants.

 

They said that as the forces laid the siege, gunshots were heard from the area.

SP Sopore Javid Iqbal said that “we are verifying the incident.”

He said that a cordon has been launched in the area.

Unconfirmed reports at the time of filing this report said that two militants were killed during the gunfight that ensued soon after.

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Budgam: NC worker of 4 decades stays away from polls

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Apr 18: Outside a two-storey Government Girls Higher Secondary High School in Ichigam village of Budgam, a man donning a chequered pheran loudly quipped at every person entering the polling booth to cast his or her vote on Thursday.

He argued with them over the performance of their elected leaders in the past as agents of political parties tried hard to convince him to cast his vote or stay away from others who wanted to.

Ghulam Hassan, in his 60s, has been an avid supporter of National Conference (NC) at Ichigam for the last 40 years.   

 

Having worked hard over the years to lure voters for NC, Hassan, Thursday, was one among those who sidelined from the party and preferred not to vote.

He said the previous regimes failed to develop his area due to which he had decided to boycott and also not to “befool” people in this Lok Sabha election.

“It was the only option available with me. I have been supporting the party (NC) ever since I became eligible to caste vote. But it didn’t benefit me nor people of my area,” he said.

Hassan, who as per locals, would often engage himself in heated arguments with political rivals during elections, was dejected over the state of roads and growing unemployment in his village.

“I have two sons, who are sitting idle at home. Many students here have completed their higher studies and haven’t got a job. These politicians appear only during elections and forget their promises once they are elected,” he said.

Hassan said the idea of boycotting the election was way better than living with a hope of some relief from the politicians.

“Under these circumstances, it is better that you vote for a candidate who is trustworthy. But we are short of such candidates,” he said.

When agents attempted “tricking” him by saying his vote would secure Article 370 and 35-A, he replied, “Many among you have voted and let us see how your vote will benefit Kashmir,” he said.

Few metres away in another polling booth in Ichigam, Ghulam Muhammad Dar voiced similar concerns but said he voted after trusting the candidate for one last time.

“I have been casting my vote for the last 50 years and have seen how these politicians befool people. But this is going to be my last vote if the candidate didn’t work for the development and safeguarding special position of Kashmir,” he said.

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